How Household Pests Could Be Making Your Asthma and Allergies Worse

woman sneezing

With over 20 million Americans living with allergies, Asthma, or a combination of both, it’s critical to understand common triggers to protect ourselves, friends, and family members living with these conditions. In this article, Gregory’s Pest Control covers how pest control can also be allergen control. 

Due to its warm climate, Florida has a fairly long allergy season. It’s rare for the temperature to dip below 65 degrees in South Florida, which means the state spends around ten months with flowers and plants like ragweed, dock, and pine releasing pollen. The heavy moisture present in the damp, rainy spring and fall seasons also promotes mold growth indoors and outdoors for most of the year. Next to pollen, mold is the second leading cause of allergen-based issues for residents in the Sunshine State.

However, there’s another contributor to Asthma and allergic reactions that often goes overlooked. Pests like roaches, dust mites, and rats are more than annoying, disease-carrying nuisances in the home. They can cause major and minor allergy and asthma attacks depending on the severity of the infestation, with children and the elderly particularly susceptible.

Residential pest control isn’t just for protecting the condition and structural integrity of the home. It’s a must for preventing health issues caused by infectious bites, biological waste, and allergens. Here’s a rundown on why a call to your pest control company could be just what you need to reduce your Asthma and allergy symptoms this year.

Which Household Pests Trigger Asthma and Allergic Reactions?

Not all pests will create an allergic reaction without direct contact. Ants and bees, for example, primarily trigger allergies through bites and stings, which can be painful even for persons without the condition. Here are the top pests you should look out for if your symptoms have worsened and you’re due for some residential pest control.

  • Cockroaches – According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, cockroaches are a significant trigger for Asthma, as Asthmatic children exposed to cockroaches require hospital visits far more frequently. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itchy eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, or a rash. Symptoms of Asthma like chest tightness and difficulty breathing can also occur.
  • Rats and mice – Rodent allergens can be found on similar small mammals like hamsters and guinea pigs, but those from rats and mice are among the most potent. A study has even found that persons exposed to rats and mice can develop an allergy over time.
  • Bedbugs – Despite their size, bedbugs can cause huge health problems. Because they can go undetected for months, persons may begin experiencing allergic reactions and Asthmatic symptoms long before they notice bites. Professional pest control services from a reputable pest control company are the best way to handle a bedbug infestation.
  • Dust mites – Unlike the other pests on this list, dust mites cannot be seen with the naked eye, making it much harder to realize when they’re triggering Asthma and allergies. Like the dust they live in, they often bring sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose, and can only be managed by deep cleaning and targeted pest control measures. They are a common trigger of Asthma in children.

How Do Common South Florida Pests Trigger Asthma and Allergic Reactions?

We’ve listed the pests most likely to trigger allergic or Asthmatic reactions, but how exactly does exposure to them cause this?

  • Droppings/fecal matter – In addition to spreading hantavirus and other illnesses, rat droppings around the home may cause allergic reactions. Bedbug, cockroach, and dust mite feces can trigger skin and respiratory reactions due to their histamine content. 
  • Urine – While rats and mice are technically the only pests on this list that produce urine, just like their fecal matter, it contains substances that can trigger sneezing, coughing, congestion, and more.  
  • Hair and dander – Hair allergens and dander are common in mouse and rat fur and can be shed on furniture as they move around your house. Cockroaches may not have hair but shed body parts that contain irritating proteins.
  • Saliva – Experiencing a reaction to a pest bite is not uncommon, but for rats and cockroaches, their saliva alone is enough to trigger an immune response. The best way to avoid exposure to these substances is by practicing regular, preventative pest control. 

Tips for Reducing Asthma and Allergy Triggers Using Pest Control

If you believe you may be experiencing allergic or Asthmatic reactions due to pest exposure, it is usually best to secure professional pest control services. By choosing to handle the issue yourself, you put your immune system at risk.

A trusted pest control company can get rid of these pests, and provide cleanup services, so you’re not left trying to clear out the remains of cockroaches, rats, mice, or other pests after an infestation. Be sure to bring any health issues to a medical professional and take prescribed antihistamines and other medications as instructed.

South Florida Pest Control Services from Gregory’s Pest Control

The safest, most effective way to remove bugs, pests, and rodents from your Florida home is to get a full-service treatment from a professional pest control provider.

Gregory’s Pest Control, based out of Coral Springs, Florida, has over thirty years of experience protecting families in Broward, Palm Beach, and other South Florida areas from infestations. We also have a barrier protection program to eliminate entry points and breeding areas, and an advanced maintenance service that sees one of GPC’s expert personnel returning for a checkup every 60-90 days.

Visit our services page to get a free quote or schedule a complimentary pest evaluation visit.

Paul Gregory employee photo

Paul Gregory

Owner/President of Gregory’s Pest Control

I’m a 2nd generation pest control owner who started working for my father in 1999. I was raised in South Florida and feel blessed to call it home for my entire adult life. As a long-term Florida resident, I recognize the challenges of controlling the many different pests that thrive in our subtropical climate. In particular, I understand how difficult it can be to prevent pests from invading our homes and businesses. By helping families solve their pest problems so they can live safer, more comfortable lives, I feel I am also meeting my family’s commitment to help our community. When I’m not out fighting pests, you can find me on the golf course or out on a soccer field where I have been fortunate enough to coach soccer to kids of all ages for the past 20 years.